The objective of these games is to assess your ability to understand the overall goal of the team. The basic function of these games is to ensure that team performance improves and the team functions smoothly. These games are used by a variety of businesses, schools, sports teams and non-profit organizations. As far as the range of activities go, team games cast a huge net, and their range covers the complete spectrum from basic team bonding exercises to complex interactions and retreats.
Games are the best way to get members to lower their guard and relax, thus letting new people into their life and strengthening the team as a whole. The objective of team games is to address the specific needs of an individual through group interactions. The tasks generally taken up in team games are diverse in nature, and take care of developing multiple aspects of the personalities of their members. Some of the basic elements of effective teamwork in team games are as follows:-
- Understanding the goal- Every member of the team needs to understand the desired future, the end goal.
- Sharing information- Actively listening to other members, trying out their suggestions.
- Giving others the benefit of doubt – Not discarding any idea, but considering each one on its merit.
- Providing support and recognizing the interests and achievements of others.
However, the effectiveness of the team to achieve the goal and complete the game successfully is marred by certain hurdles, the most common ones being ego clashes, conflicts, disagreements, politics and non-cooperative members.
Whatever the nature of the team games (indoor or outdoor), these games have the sole focus of increasing team cohesiveness and ensuring that individual members develop the capability of operating in a team. Following is a classification of the various types of games/exercises:-
- Communication Exercise: The problem solving tasks, the group exercises and games all focus on encouraging communication between members so that they develop the necessary skills and confidence required for fruitful interaction.
- Goal- Develop an activity that stresses on communication skills for enhanced team performance.
- Problem-solving/Decision-making games: Given a set of conditions that challenge individual members, these games focus on harnessing the energies of team members in order to arrive at tangible and workable solutions for problems.
- Goal-A challenging problem should be handed out to a team and they need to come up with solutions to resolve the issue.
- Planning/adaptability games: The important skill that is being checked is how teams respond to complex tasks, how do they break them down and what kind of changes are they willing to undertake in order to solve the problem.
- Goal-Highlight how planning can help implement solution better.
- Trust game: The objective of these games is to encourage team members to trust each other. The situations at play generally challenge individuals to make decisions that they may not be comfortable with, and these become an indicator of the kind of trust they can place on other people.
- Goal-Encourage trust building among team members.
Following are the key objectives accomplished through these games:-
- Understand the importance of and the various skills involved in developing enriching interpersonal relationships.
- Understand and manage your emotions and emotions of others too.
- Learn how to go about being a good team player and form an effective team.
- Balancing individual excellence and group performance to achieve the desired goal.
Examples of Team Games
- Exercise using index cards: We provide every member in the team an index card, and they are instructed to write two truths and one lie about themselves. Once the exercise is complete, the group members get together in a circle, and start reading their statements one by one. The task of the group members is to identify the one lie from the three statements spoken by each member.
- Tangle-Untangle: The members of the team should be seated in a circle, close to one another. Each team member would reach out to their two sides, left and right and hold hands with the person on that side. This way team would end up in a tangle and the task to untangle this knot without anyone having to let go of anyone’s hand. This way, the exercise is a challenge in group dynamics and in case the knot can’t be solved without letting go of someone’s hand, the team members should decide who should let go in order to solve the situation. The decision has to be arrived at with consensus and cannot be unilateral.
- Exercise using index cards(2): Form two groups each of people and index cards (with individual letters of the alphabet on the cards). Be sure to make duplicates of commonly used letters especially vowels, to ensure that multiple words can be made. Have each person draw a card out of a bag or hat. Give each group a set amount of time to form as many small words as they can, then have the group members share something about them. Repeat this as many times as desired. The game can also be played competitively by assigning a point value to each letter and seeing which team can make the most valuable word.